The murderous state

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By LUIZ MARQUES*

Zionism, by associating religion with expanding warmongering nationalism, embodies a threat to peace in the region, to international relations and to humanity. The far right applauds genocide

How many years have the surviving Palestinians endured the agony of imposed deterritorialization? The far-right Israeli government answers the question by naturalizing genocide. Press headlines provoke confusion between criticism of Zionism and anti-Semitic sentiment, in an attempt to convince international opinion.

Israel updates Foucault's notion of sovereignty as control of life, through bodies. This is what the French thinker calls “biopolitics”. In theory, the cohesion of society implies the self-institution and self-limitation of the subject: read discipline. However, the assertion of praising the social contract hides the sovereign's will to power over life and death. At the bottom of the cave, a fight is taking place capable of deceiving the cunning of reason.

political sovereignty, in extremis, does not respect the limits to which fear subjects individualities. The finitude of individuals is not enough, it is necessary to erase their traces in the collective memory. The bodily disappearance of victims and the censorship of memories was a routine in civil-military dictatorships in Latin America. Installed in 2012, the task of the Truth Commission aimed to establish the appropriate constraints on the exercise of Leviathan's authority, to exorcise the sadistic deviations of official agents and impose, on the nation-state, the indispensable pedagogy of human rights.

The government initiative implicitly recognized the risk of converting the state apparatus into a deadly machine, which goes beyond constitutional precepts. In this sense, Achille Mbembe, in Necropolitical, proposes “a reading of politics as the work of death”. Biopower maintains links with the Schmittian conception of politics (friend vs. enemy), a mark of right-wing extremism. No-finger-in-the-eye disputes between adversaries who complied with the procedural norms of democracy, without resorting to hatred and fake news in the tangle of post-truth.

Violence is the denominator of racists. See the Protection Squad of SS (Schtzstaffel) in action, in Hitlerite Germany. Or the Klan (Ku Klux Klan) in favor of white nationalist supremacy and anti-immigration in the United States. Or the BOPE (Special Police Operations Battalion) considered the best snipers against peripherals, in Brazil. The tie that unites such organizations refers to fictitious enemies who, when persecuted, have their rights to freedom, happiness and life – canceled. The damned of the earth cease to be people, before returning to dust. “O my body, always make me a man who questions”, cries the psychiatrist and activist Franz Fanon.

The murderous state

The fascination with weapons explains why Israel appears to be a reference point for neo-fascism today. The country has two hundred nuclear warheads, perhaps the largest and most sophisticated nuclear weapons store of all nations; It has 170 active soldiers, 130 on land, 10 naval personnel, 30 in the Air Force. According to GFP (Global Firepower) invests 4,5% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the military apparatus. Warrior energy is a metaphor for Sparta, as opposed to polis who loved the participation of free peasants and artisans in direct democratic decisions, in now yes. Soviet Athens inspires the fusion of rulers and ruled. But the non-anachronistic republic project based on ending inequalities now includes women. The 5th century BC is a starting point, not the arrival point.

More than class thinking that translates history as a struggle for hegemony, race is a shadow present in the West's policies of dehumanization of foreign cultures. Hannah Arendt, in the Origins of totalitarianism, points out that “race is not the beginning of humanity, but its end. Not the natural birth of man, but his unnatural death.” The philosopher feared the creation of a State surrounded by hostilities, as it would push Jewish nationalism towards Zionism to the detriment of the spirit (spirit, breath, courage) universal. It became a persona non grata.

Abolitionist Joaquim Nabuco also anticipated discomfort on the horizon, after 350 years of shackles. The fact that Abolition was not accompanied by compensation for forced labor and an agrarian reform, to guarantee a dignified existence for former slaves whose traditional tasks were in the countryside, is at the root of the so-called elites' discomfort with the current struggles for emancipation. “Slavery will long remain the national characteristic.” The beating of a black homeless man in the January 8th vandalism reveals racism and aporophobia in the folds of the yellow-green flag. Hannah Arendt and Joaquim Nabuco acted as biblical prophets, within the meaning of First Testament.

The function of racism is to regulate biopolitics for the distribution of death through the murderous State, which is not exclusive to exceptional regimes. Societies that proclaimed themselves democratic lived with the system of planting and the triple loss of the status of slaves: their home, their right to their bodies, their status as citizens. In South Africa, sovereignty invented zones to relegate the colonized to the gap between subject and object. “Districts” and “bantustans” exacerbated severe oppression and poverty. The spatialization planned for the colonial occupation outlined a division into compartments, with allegorical language for the management of the reserve army of free labor. Primo Levi describes an atrocious mechanic of annihilation, in Is this a man?

The Zionist sovereign

The term that gives the title to the Cameroonian intellectual's 72-page essay appears on page number 41, where he emphasizes that the occupation of the colony combines “disciplinary, biopolitics and necropolitics”, which subjugates life to the power of death. “The most successful form of necropolitics is the contemporary colonial occupation of Palestine. The colonial state takes away the fundamental claim to sovereignty and legitimacy of authority from its own account of history and identity. The narrative, reinforced by the belief that the Israeli state has a divine right to exist, enters into competition with another narrative for the same sacred space.” Discourses and peoples are almost inextricable. However, Israel claims the divine foundation for nationality, and claims a position above other divinity. In the Middle East, mysticism involves conflict in unreason: passion, fantasy, destiny.

The expansionist presence is based on terror blessed with mass expulsions, resettlement of “stateless” people in refugee camps and the establishment of new colonization centers. The objective is to “make any movement impossible and implement segregation in the style of the State of apartheid, with internal borders and several isolated cells” – policy of verticality. Under the ruins of hospitals, graves with the remains of hundreds of Palestinians exude the massacre, while in the sky you hear the silent scream of the homo demens, unspeakable death, absolute evil: the Holocaust.

Techniques to combat the enemy include the sabotage of the social and urban infrastructure network, the appropriation of natural resources (land, water, atmosphere), the bombing of airport runways, buildings, electronic communications, electrical energy transformers, medical equipment, the uprooting of olive trees and the violation of cultural and administrative symbols of the unborn proto-State. We are facing an infrastructural war, like in Afghanistan and Iraq. An entire people is devastated by the fanaticism of the Zionist sovereign. Insecurity is widespread, death is trivialized, suffering is ignored, the boundary line that separates civilization from barbarism is broken.

“War was inscribed as an end and necessity, not only in democracy, but also in politics and culture. Chained together, each other's cause and consequence, they became medicine and poison, our pharmakon”, notes Achille Mbembe, in the classic entitled Enmity Policies. The state of exception is the rule on a global scale. The industry of atrocities and lethalities does not even spare children. While all wars from 2019 to 2022 killed 12.193 children, the initial six months of the conflict in Gaza have already claimed the short lives of 12.300 innocent children. A cruel crime against the species, disproportionate to the act of terror and despair committed by Hamas, on October 7, 2023. The scourge of the Aztec, Hernán Cortés, and Inca, Francisco Pizarro empires, now welcome into the dishonorable gallery of conquerors the bête humaine which is Benjamin Netanyahu.

The neo-fascist prime minister wants to “restore Israel to the size it was at its height, at the time of David and Solomon”, points out Leonardo Boff. Hence the commitment to colonize territories in the West Bank, as if they were theirs by the grace of God, and the determination to expel Arabs and Muslims. Its authoritarian and totalitarian ideology points to a theocracy of extermination. Zionism, by associating religion with expanding warmongering nationalism, embodies a threat – beyond the Gaza Strip – to peace in the region, international relations and humanity. The far right applauds genocide.

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.


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